I got a chance to interview the sure-footed Fat Tony about Hood Party, one of the singles off of his new album Smart Ass Black Boy. I am dropping this interview under our Arrest the President column because the song Hood Party is a comment on gentrification, a sociopolitical issue which occurs when poorer residents are displaced and supplanted by an influx of Louis Tully lookin’ Vans Original Classic Authentic wearin’ Newgrass fans. As you know, Arrest the President is a column here at T.R.O.Y., started by Thun, which looks at Hip Hop, past and present, from a sociopolitical perspective. In the song Hood Party, Fat Tony, and featured artists Kool A.D. and Despot, cleverly poke fun at some of the effects gentrification has individually on locals and “gentrifiers” and collectively on affected communities.
In this interview, Fat Tony and I briefly discuss his new album, conduct a line by line analysis of his verse on Hood Party, chat about the positive and negative effects of gentrification on established communities, I share my experience of hearing Hood Party for the first time in the courtyard of a highly ranked undergraduate university, and we even tackle the question of whether or not Hip Hop is being gentrified. Towards the end of this great conversation, Fat Tony, with his command and knowledge of Hip Hop, along with his clear and deductive thought process, really helped me understand and come to terms with some of my insecurities with Hip Hop right now.
I suggest you listen to the interview here, where you’ll be able hear Fat Tony read the lines of Hood Party with his soft yet sandy voice, over a piano which was quietly played in the background throughout the entire interview. It’s quite pleasant, especially if you enjoy the song.